Dental hygiene is one of the most essential skills you can teach your child. Learning about dental health early on sets your child up with a lifetime of good habits, strong teeth, and makes every trip to the dentist an enjoyable experience instead of a stressful one.
The first habit toward dental health is learning how to brush correctly. You can begin teaching your child to brush as soon as their permanent teeth set in, or at three years old. Proper brushing involves reaching the entire mouth, including difficult areas like the back row of teeth.
Duration is also important, as a good brushing should last around two minutes. There are several ways to ensure the session is timed right, like using a timer or electric toothbrushes.
When adding toothpaste to your child’s brush be sure to apply only a small amount, around the size of a peanut. Teach them to avoid swallowing toothpaste as well. While not dangerous in small amounts, continued ingestion of toothpaste can lead to health issues down the line.
Flossing can also be a tricky experience for your child. Teaching them to gently floss as well as how to reach more difficult spaces like back gums are great habits to instill at an early age. If your child is struggling with traditional floss, there are several child-safe flossing picks you can purchase for them instead.
Eating and drinking are two of the easiest ways to damage teeth, tearing away enamel and creating opportunities for chipping and breaking. Teaching them to avoid sugar-filled sodas, juices, and candies can prevent long-term issues like cavities. Carefully consuming hard foods that could potentially injure teeth is essential as well. While it is difficult to avoid treats entirely, learning to brush soon after eating is a good way to prevent potential issues down the line.
Used to strengthen enamel and prevent cavities, fluoride salts are often included in toothpaste as well as public drinking water. While fluoride can be poisonous when consumed in large amounts, it has been regulated so that it is safe for common use. If you are concerned about fluoride affecting your child, ensure that you are purchasing toothpaste and mouthwash that has been tested under quality standards and certified safe to use.
Making brushing a shared and fun experience encourages good habits. Setting a special time each day to brush and floss together can help you closely monitor your child’s technique as well as correct any issues. It can even be made into a game or competition to add an enjoyable spin! Leading the way towards positive long-term habits can be as simple as setting a good example to follow.
Early appointments are one of the best ways to set clear goals for oral health. A child should have their first visit to the dentist as soon as they turn one year old, or when their permanent teeth start to set in. Early visits are crucial to preventative care, as early issues with the teeth and jaw can be spotted and addressed. Establishing a positive relationship with your child’s dentist also encourages future visits and less stress overall.
If you would like to know more about dental health for your child, Sachi & Co. Dentistry can help. With a warm, welcoming environment and up-to-date technology, we can provide a dental experience that earns your trust. Contact us today at 310-530-9893 to schedule an appointment. We cannot wait to make your child’s first visit to the dentist a special one.